Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Concerning "Third Rate Politicians"

That's supposedly what President Trump called Nancy Pelosi during a meeting today.

Trump has been elected to office a grand total of one time, by a margin of about 80,000 votes in three states, getting fewer votes than his Democratic opponent nationwide from a population of about 320 million.

Pelosi has been elected to Congress 17 times. She beat her last Republican opponent by more than 230,000 votes -- not in three states, not nationwide, but in one of 435 US House districts with a population, according to the 2010 census, of approximately 700,000. She's also managed to remain at the head of her party's congressional delegation for more than a decade and a half.

Whatever else she may be, Pelosi is a successful politician. If she's "third rate" as a politician, Trump is at best sixth or seventh rate. Just sayin' ...

Monday, October 14, 2019

Polling: "Generic" Doesn't Tell Us Much

A new poll (h/t Taegan Goddard) has Donald Trump running behind a generic Democrat 48%-47%  -- and 51%-37% among independent voters -- for re-election in Ohio.

But after a certain point, Trump won't be running against a generic Democrat, he'll be running against a particular Democrat.

That's important.

Of the voters who are thinking "don't like Trump much, a Democrat might be better next time," some of them already have "as long as that Democrat is or isn't [insert name here]" floating around in the backs of their minds.

Also, once there's a nominee apparent, Trump and Co. will be able to focus their campaign strategy on that particular Democrat. They're already doing that to a degree (Biden is their main bugaboo of choice at the moment), but whichever Democrat they're attacking at any given moment is really more of a proxy for Democrats in general -- a "generic" target, one might say.

Finally there's the question of just how motivated the voters being polled are. It's one thing to say you prefer a generic Democrat when asked. It's another thing entirely to get off your ass cast a vote for a specific Democrat. It's gonna be a little while before we see how good the two major party campaigns' Get Out The Vote games are.

Trump won Ohio by 8.13% in 2016 after a cycle of zig-zagging poll numbers. Third party, independent, and write-in candidates grabbed 4.75% of the vote. As of this moment, it looks to me like he's reasonably well-positioned to win it again, albeit likely by a lower margin.

Is Alan Dershowitz on Trump's Impeachment Response Team?

Dershowitz's supposed version of an old saw:

If the facts are your side, pound the facts into the table. If the law is on your side, pound the law into the table. If neither the facts nor the law are on your side, pound the table.

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